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The_Mentiad

What does the Elder sign represent?

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 Just pondering the elder signs... are there elders to whom the sign corresponds in Lovecraft mythology?

I figure anything powerful enough to seal gates in time and space and banish doom bent beasts must have some sort of significant power behind it...

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Well, basically the Elder Gods are just a different kind of deities. In HPL pantheon, we should have three major groups, Elder Gods, Outer Gods and Great Old Ones. Between the Elder Gods, the most "famous" is Nodens, but also Hypnos and Bast are mentioned as being part of this circle. I have a little confusion on what was exactly been written by HPL and what by other authors. You can find some "basic" infos here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elder_God_(Cthulhu_Mythos)

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Actually the true story is that the "gods" are just alien beings of power, age, wisdom and origin so vast that that it is beyond human understanding. As such human can only describe them as gods and thier workings as magic.

 

I believe HPL's original gods are Cuthluhu, Shub-niggurath, Azathoth, Nyarlathotep and Yog-Sothoth. Maybe you can add Hastur, although this being was borrowed. The classification of the various beings was done by other writers as they added their own creations to the mix.

The eldar sign itself is never mentioned by HPL to be invented by another race (ie like the Ancients from SG1), but just that its a symbol that can be used to block the influence and passage of the malevolent beings. It has two versions: the star which you see in AH and the branch which was how HPL orginally described it.
 

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bioball said:

I believe HPL's original gods are Cuthluhu, Shub-niggurath, Azathoth, Nyarlathotep and Yog-Sothoth. Maybe you can add Hastur, although this being was borrowed. The classification of the various beings was done by other writers as they added their own creations to the mix.

While you're correct about the classification being the work of others, HPL also created Bokrug, Ghatanothoa, Yig and I think Rhan-Tegoth. He also borrowed Tsathoggua from Clark Ashton Smith.

-Villain

 

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I think actually that Cthulhu and Hastur would classify more as demi-god beings, while Shub, Yog, Azathoth, and Nyarlathotep would occupy a higher godlike manifestation of a force of nature (or un-nature, if you will). Only Nyarlathotep is sentient of the (higher) gods, making him kind of an either-or.

As for OP's other question, I don't know what an elder sign represents. I consider clue tokens to be vital information that has not been utilized. Once the clue is spent, the information has been utilized (not the same as forgotten!). It's possible that even though you spent 5 clues to lay an elder sign earlier that you don't remember exactly how the star is supposed to be drawn/carved, or that perhaps you did attempt to carve another sign to find out that this new one didn't work and you needed to change your technique for whatever reason.

The Elder Sign item is likely just that: an item with an Elder Sign sigil carved or imposed on it. Let's say it's enchanted too. When used (pressed against the ground? Held to the crux of the otherworldly vortex? Your trip through the other world taught you the incantation or orientation required to activate the charm?) the item makes an elder sign appear on the wall/floor/ground before your eyes, and then shatters. This at least would explain the sanity and stamina loss from its use.

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bioball said:

The eldar sign itself is never mentioned by HPL to be invented by another race (ie like the Ancients from SG1), but just that its a symbol that can be used to block the influence and passage of the malevolent beings. It has two versions: the star which you see in AH and the branch which was how HPL orginally described it.

 

I agree that there is no mention about an ELDAR sign in any of HPL's works.

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Tibs said:

The Elder Sign item is likely just that: an item with an Elder Sign sigil carved or imposed on it. Let's say it's enchanted too. When used (pressed against the ground? Held to the crux of the otherworldly vortex? Your trip through the other world taught you the incantation or orientation required to activate the charm?) the item makes an elder sign appear on the wall/floor/ground before your eyes, and then shatters. This at least would explain the sanity and stamina loss from its use.

 

That is really really cool... I kind of wish there was a little more like this included in the box.. but I guess the great thing with this game is that there is all the lovecraft writings to underwrite the fantasy of the play. That is pretty darn strong right there.

I was playing Tannhauser earlier this year and just gave up because everything that happened just seemed to be accompanied by a "what? why?... dunno... doesn't say -shrug". I definitely picked the right game in AH... I LOVE THIS GAME!!!

I envisioned btw that the sanity and stamina loss was from some sort of occult power draw from the object - that it actually sucked your life force in the activation...

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@jhelen: Oh snap. Eh, I always want to type eldAr vs. eldEr. I don't know why, maybe its too many 40K sessions in my youth.

@ DoctorDR: The writting are fun and they make encounter some of the folks in the game a lot more special because you understand thier origins and why they are at the locations they are.

H. P. Lovecraft: Tales (Library of America) is a great one as well as this one edited by J.C. Oates (Tales of H. P. Lovecraft )
http://www.amazon.com/Tales-H-P-Lovecraft-P-S/dp/0061374601/ref=sr_1_43?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266615963&sr=1-43
http://www.amazon.com/H-P-Lovecraft-Library-America/dp/1931082723/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266615877&sr=1-2

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I recently found some compliations of Brian Lumley's Titus Crow books, and in that the main character actually has Elder Sign totems that he carries with him (think it was actually sent to him from a professor in Arkham). I've only read the first story  "The Burrowers Beneath," about Shudde M'ell but there were decent enough, and a strong departure away from Lovecraft, whose stories were more psychological than adventure.

There's alot of story and history to the Mythos, and although I've known about Cthulhu for over 25 years, it was only in the last two years that I've read any of the stories, and all thanks to AH.

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